Friday, August 30, 2013

ගිරාමලිත්තා/Gira Maliththa/Hanging Parrot/Lorikeet (Loriculus beryllinus)



An endemic and locally common bird of forests and well wooded home gardens in wet lowlands to mid hills. Also found in foothill areas of the dry lowlands. Hanging parrot is a strictly arboreal bird and usually encounters as solitary birds or as pairs (Warakagoda D et. al., 2012). However above bird was captured in a feeding flock, travelling through the Acacia plantation of Meethirgala forest reserve with at least 50 companions of the same species. It feeds on fruits, nectar of flowers, seeds and also juice of palms collected in toddy-drawers pots. While feeding it has very restless characteristic behavior of hangs at all sort of angles. It sleeps hanging head downward from a slender, leafy twig. Hanging Parrot breeds in a tree hole from March to June and sometime again from August to September. Female builds the nest with strips nibbled from the edge of green leaves and lays 2-3 white color eggs.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ඉපිල් ඉපිල්/Ipil Ipil/ Wild Tamarind/Cofee bush (Leucaena leucocephala)


An introduced shrub or small tree cultivated as green manure, fodder, for afforestation and as cover plants of tea estates. It is native to the tropical America. Since it has the ability of rapidly spreading to adjacent areas and invade all other native flora, Ipil Ipil is now considered as an invasive.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chocolate Soldier (Junonia iphita pluviatalis)


Common butterfly found in open jungle areas of all elevations of the island all the year round. It takes part in migrations especially in November to December. Chocolate Soldier often settles on damp earth. Its larva feeds on Nelu[නෙලු] species (Strobilanthes spp.), Nil Puruk[නිල් පුරුක්] (Dipteracanthus prostrates) and Katu karandu[කටු කරඩු] (Barleria prionitis) (Gamage R., 2013)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Soft khaki weed/Prostrate globe amaranth (Gomphrena celosioides)



A native herb of South America. Introduced to Sri Lanka and now widely distributed along roadsides, rocky places and waste lands. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Purple Leafblue (Amblypodia anita)


Rather rare butterfly occurring from sea level up to about 300m, particularly in the dry zone. Males settle on wet patches on the roads, or on carrion to absorb minerals. Larva feeds on Olax scandens plants.  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mexican fireweed/Lesser green poinsettia (Euphorbia heterophylla)



An introduced very common weed widely distributed throughout the island along roadsides and waste places. It is a native plant of tropical America.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Large Cuckooshrike (Coracina macei)


An uncommon breeding resident found in forest areas of lowlands up to mid hills. It is less common in wet zone. Usually a solitary bird though some time occurs as pairs or as small flocks. Large Cuckooshrike is a bird of the canopy and feeds mainly on insects. It's breeding season is from May to June and lays 2 eggs in a shallow cup made out of fine twigs, leaf-stalks, lichens etc. and felted together with cobwebs.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Redspot (Zesius chrysomallus)



Common butterfly found all over the island from lowlands to mid hills up to about 2500ft. Larvae of Red spot has symbiotic relationship with large red ants. Red ants feed on liquid exuded by the larvae and in turn are attended by them. The larva feeds on Kaju [කජු]/Cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale), Pera[පේර]/Guava (Psidium guajava) Terminalia spp. Ehella[ඇහැල]/Indian laburnum (Cassia fistula) and Loranthus spp. (Pilila/පිලිල)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

කබර රදනකයා(Kabara Radanakaya)/ඉරි කරවලා(Iri karawala)/Shaw’s Wolf Snake/ (Lycodon striatus)



Shaw’s Wolf Snake is a small (100-400mm) terrestrial and nocturnal snake distributed mostly in wet zone though occurs rarely also in intermediate and dry zone areas. It is a non venomous and inoffensive snake, which balls itself and hides its head underneath these coils (See right bottom picture) when disturbed.  It preys mainly on geckos and skinks during the night and stay under decaying logs, loose soil, earth cracks and leaf litter during the day time. Parental care of eggs is observed among these snakes and it lays 2-3 eggs.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

නිල් කටරොළු/Nil Katarolu/Blue butterfly pea/Butterfly bean (Clitoria ternatea)



An indigenous slender vine found along roadsides and scrub lands in the dry low lands while cultivated in home gardens of the moist regions. Flowering throughout the year and sometime white forms and much longer flowers occurs in cultivation

Monday, August 5, 2013

Apefly (Spalgis epeus epeus)


Rare butterfly distributed in the low country to mid hills of about 500m a.s.l. As per Woodhouse Larva of Apefly unlike with other butterflies feeds on scale insects (Coccidae) especially “Mealy bug” and is never known to eat vegetable food (Woodhouse L.G.O. 1950) But de’Abrera stated that it is just a keeping company with Mealybugs (de’Abrera B., 1998). Pupa is remarkably like the head and face of an ape. Hence its vernacular name Apefly

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Tree Nymph (Idea iasonia)

An endemic and rare butterfly found in wet forests from lowlands to higher hills. Occurs rarely also in some Northern and Eastern dry zone forests. It is usually found near water streams and easily notice by its floating and sailing like slow flight, often high among tree tops. Its larval food plant is කිරි අඟුණ/වල් අඟුණ[Kiri Aguna/Val Aguna](Parsonsia alboflavescens)